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jefft321 01-31-2013 05:49 AM

Using Oak chips in fermentation
 
How long should you soak oak chips in Bourbon before adding them to the secondary fermentation? Does it make a difference if you add the chips and bourbon to the beer at the same time? or should you soak the chips in bourbon for a week or so?

SloppyGriffin 01-31-2013 06:02 AM

I recently did this for a trial run for an autumn oak ale. What i did was take about 6-8 ounces of scotch ( can be any alcohol you wish) and put it in a jar with about 5oz of oak chips and cubes. I let it soak for about 2-3 weeks, agitating it every other day or so. In terms of racking, I would probably go with adding half the chip/bourbon mixture to the secondary and racking ontop of that and then adding the rest on top. My reasoning for this is that i found the oak chips soaked in the alcohol are heavy and tend to go to the bottom. At least this was the case with me. My chips were racked on to and they did not rise to the surface so i had to use a sanitized stirring rod and gently stir upwards to allow everything to be mixed. Again this was in my case, may have been something i did or not. Anyways, the reasoning for adding the second half to the top is so that it may slowly descend to the bottom and a full immersion of the mix can be achieved.

If you are wondering how long to live the chips in the secondary, you will find that everyone has a different opinion on the matter and really it is one of those things to test out. Take a sample after 2 weeks or so and judge from there. I like to infuse my oak for months but that is just me.

I hope this becomes useful to you and not just a waste of your time.

norsk 01-31-2013 06:02 AM

Depends on which flavor you wish to impart more of, bourbon or oak? If you want more oak and a little bourbon just soak the chips for a short time and toss them in. The longer you soak the chips along with the more bourbon you add to the brew, the more that the bourbon will come through. When making my first few DBA clones, it took a little trial and error to come up with the right combination. Next week we'll be making a Double DBA clone which is a lot of fun and a heady brew....

SloppyGriffin 01-31-2013 06:08 AM

I added about 6 oz of Glen Meranguie Scotch and 5oz of oak chips to my beer and plan on letting it sit for about 2 months. Do you think that I would get a balance between oak flavour and the scotch?


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